Tim Cook’s Stanford Commencement Speech (video)

“If you built a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos.” — Tim Cook.

From Cook’s speech:

Lately it seems this industry is becoming better known for a less noble innovation – the belief you can claim credit without accepting responsibility. We see it every day now with every data breach, every privacy violation, every blind eye turned to hate speech, fake news poisoning out national conversation, the false miracles in exchange for a single drop of your blood…

It feels a bit crazy that anyone should have to say this, but if you built a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos.

Cue the video:

My take: Cook is ratcheting up the rhetoric.


  1. Ralph McDarmont said:
    Cook speaking at Stanford’s commencement immediately brought to my mind Steve Jobs. It is an unavoidable reaction and essentially the only reason I clicked on the video. Steve’s address was intimate and moving beyond words and I was compelled to make the comparison. Cook was second string all the way, and I thought it shameful to invoke Steve’s name and words. Stanford was not the place to do that.

    June 16, 2019
  2. Peter Kropf said:
    I appreciate Ralph’s reaction. OTOH…

    I admired Cook’s boldness in warning about perhaps the greatest tech issue today.

    Who are and what motivates the brilliant builders of tech? Only money and power? Do they hold themselves responsible for the impact of the tech they build? In particular, why didn’t those who designed and monetized our megalithic surveillance apparatus (So easily available for abuse.) design in protections? Less monetization? Domination?

    If monetization and ‘domination’ has been their guiding North Star till now, will they change their spots and become protectors? Are we perpetually condemned to be hoodwinked by tech geniuses who are otherwise just childish idiots?

    June 17, 2019
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Inspiring. At first I thought he was too stern about privacy at moment when everyone wants to celebrate.

    By the end, he came full circle. These graduates have an outsized responsibility. They will have outsized impact – more so as we collectively digitize the world. Once again, we Tim Cook peers far into the future and sees steps needed now.

    June 17, 2019

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